Kaitaia businessman Hazely Windelborn could be forgiven for being a little sceptical when the Far North District Council says it's going to do something.
He had been waiting since August for a reply from the council to a request for service over the footpath outside his main street premises, and only got a response last week after Te Hiku Community Board member John Stewart intervened on his behalf.
The footpath was inspected by a council officer the next day, and Windelborn was told that 'something" would be done.
"When it's done might be another matter," he said, adding that for years the path had been a lake in wet weather, and a very real hazard for pedestrians with its humps, hollow and concrete lips, without being noticed by the council.
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He also pointed out that someone, presumably from the council, had unearthed his water meter and hadn't filled it in again, and that a section of kerb had broken. It was even worse across the street, where several concrete slabs had broken away from the footpath months ago and had never been removed or repaired.
While the council was at it, he hoped it would do something about the dense vegetation next door to his premises that was encroaching on to the footpath before he or someone else did, and left the council to clean up the mess.
It had also taken the council 18 months to change the car parking in front of his office from a unused bus stop.
Stewart was equally unimpressed.
"It's ..... ridiculous that it takes proof of an issue like this, and a threat to go to the local newspaper, before he hears from anybody," he said.
"And this isn't a one-off. Hazely is just one of many. I can't count the number of times people have told me that they've asked the council to so something and haven't had a response. I don't want people to stop telling me, but I would like the council to start doing its job.
"I even saw a local businessman mowing the footpath to Collards the other day so people can walk on it. What are we coming to?"